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Made With Code: Girls in STEM

By Melanie Holland, CEI Intern.

“Coding is a new literacy and it gives people the potential to create, innovate and quite literally change the world. We’ve got to show all girls that computer science is an important part of their future, and that it’s a foundation to pursue their passions, no matter what field they want to enter.” ‘“CEO of YouTube Susan Wojcicki

Less than one percent of high school girls think of computer science as part of their future, even though it’s one of the fastest-growing fields in the U.S. today with a projected 4.2 million jobs by 2020, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. 62% of Yahoo employees are men; 70% of Google employees are men.

In order to combat this ‘man’s world’ mentality, Google launched Made with Code. Made With Code is a website that offers opportunities for young girls to get involved with computer science in ways that are fun, and may motivate them to consider computer science careers in the future. A computer ‘code’ is a tool that allows the user to create technology, and communicate ideas through a program.

The website has five distinct features:

  1. Projects section with varying levels of coding difficulty that girls can use right on the site: building a GIF, creating avatars, etc

  2. Mentors section that highlights female role-model techies around the world who use coding in their careers. For example, Erica Kochi who used coding to develop a health communication system for third-world citizens that would send reminders about immunizations and officially register birth certificates

  3. Makers section that highlights young girls who are pursuing their passions through coding. For example, Maddy Maxey who uses coding to digitally design clothes before creating them in real life.

  4. Events section that allows girls to locate coding classes, game workshops, and summer camps in their area

  5. Resources section for parents and teachers, filled with ideas about classroom coding projects and parties

Along with the interactive website, Google is offering $50 million in grants for organizations that promote girls involved with STEM. Google is doing so in partnership with Girls Who Code, a nonprofit launched in 2012 that runs summer coding institutes for girls, as well as the Clinton Foundation, which runs a No Ceilings project that promotes girls and women participating fully in all aspects of society.

The website itself will be a great tool for computer technology and tech savvy teachers to utilize in the classroom. Though the website is meant to inspire girls to develop an interest in STEM, many of the projects can be adapted to incorporate boys as well. For example, one of the projects allows students to use coding to create beats. An English teacher could use this project to have students write poetry and then develop the beats to match before performing them for the class.

The Made With Code website summarizes the need to get connect girls with STEM curriculum: ‘If women aren’t represented in technology, their ideas, concerns, and designs won’t be included when we create the cities, cars, infrastructure, medicines, communications, companies, and governments of tomorrow.’


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